Tribe quest: After hovering near .500 for 2½ months, the defending AL-champion Cleveland Indians have hit their stride, moving into first place by winning eight of nine games in which they outscored the Dodgers, Minnesota and Baltimore by 68-23 from June 15 through Thursday. Slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who signed a three-year, $60-million deal last winter, is batting .351 with a 1.144 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage, 10 homers and 23 runs batted in in 26 games through Thursday; he hit .208 with a .709 OPS, seven homers and 17 RBIs in 43 games through May 22. After a two-game glitch against the Dodgers, uber reliever Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Baltimore.
Picked-up pieces while wondering if there’s anything else we can do to honor David Ortiz . . . ■ Could the Celtics have made potential “fireworks” any more boring? zzz. There HAS to be more. Sorry, I would have done a deal on draft night. I would have kept the No. 1 pick and overpaid the Knicks with all those overrated “assets.” I would have done handstands to bring Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. Or Jimmy Butler. The Celtics need adults, people who have proven they can play in the league. Best of luck to Jayson Tatum, but I’ve got no time for teen angels on training wheels on the parquet floor. The Timberwolves did what the Celtics should have done. They acquired Butler. They already have Karl-Anthony
Deja vu, right? It's true half of this list is carryover from last week, which is interesting for a number of reasons. We may have reached a point of oversaturation in mixed leagues with all the breakthrough hitters this year. Adding another, particularly with no assurances beyond this week, may be more trouble than it's worth. Or maybe the five in question have just so happened to benefit from really good matchups two weeks in a row. Of course, what makes for a favorable matchup is a little dicey this week, with the two doubleheaders Saturday. The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins are each in line to play eight games, but the Twins' matchups are so uninviting that I don't really know what